Breastfeeding stress

I'm so stressed out by breastfeeding :( We've had to overcome jaundice (too sleepy to feed properly), tongue tie (painful latch) and I also had a big pph and on-going anaemia which interfered with my supply initially.

Now S has silent reflux and I find it really hard to know if he's in pain or hungry. He can take over an hour to feed at times and never just unlatches peacefully, he's either arching because of his reflux which is so painful while he's latched on, or he just stays latched


  • On comfort sucking for aaaaages. I never know if he's had enough. He doesn't sleep during the day so I don't know if he's hungry, tired or refluxing.

    I've read everything there is to read, been in touch with la leche league and go to regular breastfeeding sessions run by our hv but I'm still struggling so much.

    I want to give up because I feel like if he's on formula, at least I will know he's had enough. He has had a bottle on occasions and he's like a different baby.
  • That sounds rough. I'd be off to a local bf consultant in your shoes. I'm sure they'd be able to help you out. x

  • He's happier, contented etc.

    Meanwhile, I spend almost every feed in tears :( I'd feel terrible giving up because I know it's best for him but I feel like I'm being driven to the edge. Am I a terrible mother for wanting to stop?

    Sorry for the three posts, damn mobile forums.
  • *i know nothing*

    Could you express for him so you know he gets the goodness and you can control him and yourself better? It sounds no fun having to do what you're doing. X
  • Sange the lady at la leche just suggested leaving him as long as he wants but I'd be tied to the chair for three hours! All the time he's thrashing around because he drained me in the first half hour! Then she suggested cranial osteopathy but he's had that already and no change.
  • Custard I tried expressing but only get 1-2 oz at a time so I'd have to pump 5 times to get enough for one feed:(
  • I'm sure there will be people on with help but just wanted to say there is no shame in giving him a bottle.  My first was bottle fed and second is breastfed.  Do what you need to do,as has been said on here before, formula is not poison xxx

  • I dont know anything about reflux but have you got a sling - have you tried breastfeeding in that? There are you tube videos demoing how to BF in slings if you need help on poitioning baby etc .... just thinking you would be BFing hands free and could get up and do things .......

  • I have got a sling and its one that you can bf in but S thrashes and arches so much I don't know if it would work...
  • Oh PC :-( I don't have any advice but I know you're not a terrible mother and if you decide to switch to formula because it's better for you both then there is no shame in that. Big hugs xxxx

  • Thanks ve, I know it's not poison and I think it would save my sanity tbh. I just feel like we've overcome so much with him that to give up because I'm finding it hard emotionally would be selfish and I'd've failed :(
  • It's a decision that only you can make but you've given him 9 weeks of bf which is fantastic. It's not 'selfish' but you do have to consider your feelings too! Happy mum does a lot towards happy baby xxx

  • Hi P, sorry you're feeling like this. Is your H being supportive? Please don't feel like a terrible mother for wanting to stop - I ff both of mine from birth due to personal choice so at least you have bf (i sometimes think A's rflux/cmpi is my punishment) If youre a terrible mother for wanting to stop then i'm the worst mum in the world for never even trying! you should be patting yourself on the back for doing it this long with all the problems you've had - big hugs x

  • Thanks. H was initially very against me giving up. He insisted I continue. I think walking in on me sobbing at every feed has softened him a bit though and we give S a bottle before bed x
  • Firstly PC well done on BF for as long as you have,  you have not failed you have succesfully fed S. You are not selfish for giving formula you are doing the best for you and your baby and at the end of the day thats all anyone can want! I havent BF myself so cant offer any practical advice but it sounds like youve seeked out help in the right areas, sobbing at every feed is not good for you or S, he needs a happy mummy.

  • Sounds like you have had an awful time.

    Will he not still have reflux if he's on a bottle? So effectively still the same issue? Also he's not comfort sucking, each time he sucks it stimulates you to produce milk so he's trying to up the supply iyswim.

    Have you tried expressing? I had a tough time with both mine (horrendous trauma as L had a TT and Isaac just fed constantly!) anyway h ended up giving ebm to give me a break. I assume LLL have recommended feeding him whilst he is in as upright a position as possible?

    Its fine to stop it really is. You are not a terrible mother Hug

  • HI P,

    Firstly if you feel that bottle feeding (weather it is formula or expressed milk) is right for you and baby then go for it,

    Secondly at 8/9 weeks in I often still had days on the sofa just feeding feeding and keeping little one up right as he had silent reflux so he was more comfotable that way. They still have tiny tumies really plus doing lots of growing can just make them mik monsters disco would comfort suck to I just used to unlatch him but keep cuddeling. Thumb sucking was definately a saving grace though.

    The sling was fab he would cry for the first few min but then settel in for snuggels ( I didnt feed him in it though, but it meant I could get something to eat with two hands).

    Be warned he might still want to eat frequently on formula (for comfort o just because thats the way he is made) I know people with formula fed babies who ate every 2-3 hours and were frequent night feeders and some with BF babies who ate every 4 hours and slept though the night early on so I guess it just depends on each baby.

    Do whats best for you Happy mum is happy baby.

  • I haven't had any experience with reflux but it sounds awful.

    I have been very lucky that I've been able to bf both my babies, but I said both times that I would try and if I couldn't or had problems then I would switch to formula.

    Yes breast milk is better for baby than formula , but a happy mum is better than a sad/stressed mum.

    You have to weigh up which is worst. You have been doing everything you can to bf and you should be really proud for doing it a lot long than a lot of people, but a baby senses your emotions and needs to see his mummy smiling and happy.

    If you think giving a bottle is going to be better go for it.

    B is only 8 weeks old and I feel like the time has flown by, our babies don't stay little for long and it's so important to enjoy this time as before you know it they will be running around. You want to be able to look back on this time with happy memories and at the moment it doesn't sound like you have that.

    How about you give bottles for 48 hours and see if it makes much difference. Express as much as possible during that time to keep your supply up so at the end of the 48hrs you can switch back to bf if you want

  • Thanks all. I appreciate the advice I know it's a difficult subject and only I can make the decision really.

    I'm so fed up of thinking about it really, I've been obsessing over the decision for weeks now.

    I just can't read his cues, is he hungry, tired, in pain? I don't know any more :( I'm really struggling full stop, I feel so overwhelmed by it all so I just need something to change.

    There is a la leche meeting not far from me on Friday so I will go to that and make a decision at
  • In all honesty, if you say he was a different baby after you gave formula, I would say that bf is not the best for him. It isn't always. If he seemed better with the formula I would go for it. I know how little time you will have your hands free with a refluxy baby so am not even going to suggest expressing as when would you get the chance?!

    I made a deal with myself when bf was hard - I have to want to move to formula for 3 days in a row before I'll do it. So if I've been considering it for a day and a half, but then have a good feed that makes me feel more capable, I have to reset my counter back to zero. Only if I have 3 bad days in a row will I stop because, like you, I am see the benefits of both and don't want to regret my choice. Giving yourself until Friday sounds like a good plan.

    I completely sympathise, I find it impossible to tell the difference between A's hunger and pain sometimes and never know if it's right to feed him in those circumstances. Also I know the pain of the stretched nipple xx

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